The 55th GRAMMY: The Untold Stories

by Aryo Adhianto

[Jakarta, LTTW] The 2013 GRAMMY week may have ended. No more flashy outfit being exhibited on the red carpet, no more sound and visual madness being performed on stage. With 28 million viewers on its telecasted show and drew more than 18 million social media comments (according to preliminary results from Nielsen), it is not surprising that only the winners in the mainstream fields—pop, rock, R&B, country, and rap—who got the most exposure and making headlines in almost every media around the world. In fact, this habit has been going on for years, to the point that most of us are not even aware of GRAMMY’s full potentials.

First thing first; what’s so special about GRAMMY, and why people from around the world put such great interest to it? Obviously, it is the recording industry’s most prestigious award, which is presented annually by The Recording Academy. A GRAMMY is awarded by The Recording Academy’s voting membership to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. It is in fact a peer honor, awarded by and to artists and technical professionals for artistic or technical achievement, not sales or chart positions. The annual GRAMMY Awards presentation brings together thousands of creative and technical professionals in the recording industry from all over the world.

As we all probably wonder why the televised ceremony seemed only belong to the big names in the music industry, well, it is simply because of the large number of award categories (81 this year) and the desire to feature several performances by various artists, then only the ones with the most popular interest are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. Strictly speaking, it’s just that some are considered ideal for a prime time TV show, and some aren’t.

Every GRAMMY has its own segment

Clearly, there’s always a question about which kind of music is supposed to get a better appreciation and exposure within the society, and which ones that should not be too exaggerated; such question that’ll lead to the most extreme view in which fame and fortune have become the only measuring tools for artists’ success. Well, for some music genres, it might work, but evidently, not all genres can be treated the same way. As a matter of fact, every genre has its own segment; and GRAMMY is one of the examples of that matter.

Other “unknown” awards’ winners with more specific genres such as classical, latin jazz, bluegrass, new age, blues, world, etc., are presented in a pre-telecast ceremony earlier in the afternoon of the GRAMMY Awards ceremony. Although these minor genres are obviously less popular, less flashy, and received less media attention compared to the major, mainstream ones, it doesn’t mean that they are less significant to the industry.

As mentioned earlier, the freshly aired 55th GRAMMY has served 81 awards categories, vary from pop to classical, traditional to contemporary; including the addition of Best Classical Compendium, Best Latin Jazz Album, and Best Urban Contemporary Album as categories (See The (Un-televised) 55th GRAMMY Awards Winners below). Additionally, a new Music Educator Of The Year award will be presented as part of the Special Merit Awards Ceremony in the next GRAMMY Awards. In other words, every genre deserves a GRAMMY, regardless the size of its audiences.

The 55th GRAMMY Award winners, as not seen on TV: It’s not getting any younger? 

There’s an interesting fact behind the (un-televised) GRAMMY winners. As you’ll probably notice by now, most of them were the old players in most of the categories. We have Gary Burton (73) & Chick Corea (71) for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Pat Metheny (58) for Best Instrumental Jazz Album, Arturo Sandoval (63) for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Jazz Album, the late Clare Fischer (aged 83) for Best Latin Jazz Album, Bonnie Raitt (63) for Best Americana Album, Dr. John (72) for Best Blues Album, Jimmy Cliff (64) for Best Reggae Album, the late Ravi Shankar (aged 92) for Best World Music Album, and still counting.

The above individuals are the big names within each of those specific genres. They are some among the most respected artists known for their devotion and contribution toward the development of their own music as well as music in general. These are the artists who really know their audiences, and not bothered with how much fame and fortune they could gain in the other, more popular genres. Without a doubt, they deserve to be awarded in such huge event like the GRAMMY.

However, these “ruling” seniors have left us with some big questions: Where are the young? Isn’t there any room left for them? Or, different from their elders, are they simply not being too comfortable with these less-audiences genres? The answers to these questions may vary; but one thing is for sure, those elders are not getting any younger.

Discover GRAMMY’s full potentials by exploring the ‘un-televised’ Award Winners. From Jazz to New Age, Classical to Bluegrass, and more.

The (Un-televised) 55th GRAMMY Award Winners

1. Best New Age Album

Echoes Of Love

Omar Akram

Label: Real Music

2. Best Improvised Jazz Solo

Hot House

Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists

Track from: Hot House
Label: Concord Jazz

3. Best Jazz Vocal Album

Radio Music Society

Esperanza Spalding

Label: Heads Up International

4. Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Unity Band

Pat Metheny Unity Band

Label: Nonesuch

5. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You)

Arturo Sandoval

Label: Concord Jazz

6. Best Latin Jazz Album

¡Ritmo!

The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band

Label: Clare Fischer Productions/Clavo Records

7. Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Matt Redman

Track from: 10,000 Reasons
Label: sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records

8. Best Gospel Song

Go Get It

Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Mary Mary)

Label: Columbia; Publishers: EMI April Music, It’s Tea Tyme, That’s Plum Song, Wet Ink Red Music

9. Best Gospel Album

Gravity

Lecrae

Label: Reach Records

10. Best Latin Pop Album

MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition

Juanes

Label: Universal Music Latino

11. Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album

Imaginaries

Quetzal

Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

12. Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)

Pecados Y Milagros

Lila Downs

Label: Sony Music

13. Best Tropical Latin Album

Retro

Marlow Rosado Y La Riqueña

Label: Pink Chaos Productions

14. Best Americana Album

Slipstream

Bonnie Raitt

Label: Redwing Records

15. Best Bluegrass Album

Nobody Knows You

Steep Canyon Rangers

Label: Rounder

16. Best Blues Album

Locked Down

Dr. John

Label: Nonesuch

17. Best Folk Album

The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile

Label: Sony Classical

18. Best Regional Roots Music Album

The Band Courtbouillon

Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy

Label: Valcour Records

19. Best Reggae Album

Rebirth

Jimmy Cliff

Label: UMe/Sunpower

20. Best World Music Album

The Living Room Sessions Part 1

Ravi Shankar

Label: East Meets West Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RskUNOQmPq8

21. Best Children’s Album

Can You Canoe?

The Okee Dokee Brothers

Label: Okee Dokee Music LLC

22. Best Spoken Word Album

Society’s Child: My Autobiography

Janis Ian

Label: Audible, Inc.

23. Best Comedy Album

Blow Your Pants Off

Jimmy Fallon

Label: Warner Bros. Records/LoudMouth Entertainment

24. Best Musical Theater Album

Once: A New Musical

Steve Kazee & Cristin Milioti, principal soloists; Steven Epstein & Martin Lowe, producers (Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, composers/lyricists) (Original Broadway Cast With Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti & Others)

Label: Masterworks

25. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media

Midnight In Paris

(Various Artists)

Label: Madison Gate Records, Inc.

26. Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers

Label: Null/Madison Gate

27. Best Song Written For Visual Media

Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)

T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy Williams, songwriters

(Taylor Swift Featuring The Civil Wars)

Label: Big Machine Records/Universal Republic; Publishers: Sony ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift Music, Sensibility Songs, Absurd Music, Shiny Happy Music, Baffle Music, Henry Burnett Music

28. Best Instrumental Composition

Mozart Goes Dancing

Chick Corea, composer (Chick Corea & Gary Burton)

Track from: Hot House
Label: Concord Jazz

29. Best Instrumental Arrangement

How About You

Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project)

Track from: Centennial – Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans
Label: ArtistShare

30. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

City Of Roses

Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers (Esperanza Spalding)

Track from: Radio Music Society

Label: Heads Up International

31. Best Recording Package

Biophilia

Michael Amzalag & Mathias Augustyniak, art directors (Björk)

Label: One Little Indian / Nonesuch

32. Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package

Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection

Fritz Klaetke, art director (Woody Guthrie)

Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

33. Best Album Notes

Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles

Billy Vera, album notes writer (Ray Charles)

Label: Concord

34. Best Historical Album

The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Box Set)

Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson & Dennis Wolfe, compilation producers; Mark Linett, mastering engineer (The Beach Boys)

Label: Capitol Records

35. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

The Goat Rodeo Sessions

Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering engineer (Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile)

Label: Sony Classical

36. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Dan Auerbach

  • El Camino (The Black Keys) (A)
  • Locked Down (Dr. John) (A)

  • Savage (Hacienda) (S)

  • Shakedown (Hacienda) (A)

37. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix)

Skrillex, remixer (Nero)

Joseph Ray, Skrillex & Daniel Stephens, remixers

Label: Cherry Tree/Interscope

38. Best Surround Sound Album

Modern Cool

Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Michael Friedman, surround producer (Patricia Barber)

Label: Premonition Records

39. Best Engineered Album, Classical

Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen

Tom Caulfield & John Newton, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale)

Label: Chandos

40. Producer Of The Year, Classical

Blanton Alspaugh

  • Chamber Symphonies (Gregory Wolynec & Gateway Chamber Orchestra)
  • Davis: Río De Sangre (Joseph Rescigno, Vale Rideout, Ava Pine, John Duykers, Kerry Walsh, Guido LeBron, The Florentine Opera Company & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)

  • Gjeilo: Northern Lights (Charles Bruffy & Phoenix Chorale)

  • In Paradisum (Brian A. Schmidt & South Dakota Chorale)

  • Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale)
  • Music For A Time Of War (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony)

  • Musto: The Inspector (Glen Cortese & Wolf Trap Opera Company)

41. Best Orchestral Performance

Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride In A Fast Machine

Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)

Label: SFS Media

42. Best Opera Recording

Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen

James Levine & Fabio Luisi, conductors; Hans-Peter König, Jay Hunter Morris, Bryn Terfel & Deborah Voigt; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

Label: Deutsche Grammophon

43. Best Choral Performance

Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen

Charles Bruffy, conductor (Matthew Gladden, Lindsey Lang, Rebecca Lloyd, Sarah Tannehill & Pamela Williamson; Kansas City Chorale)

Label: Chandos

44. Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

Meanwhile

Eighth Blackbird

Label: Cedille Records

45. Best Classical Instrumental Solo

Kurtág & Ligeti: Music For Viola

Kim Kashkashian

Label: ECM New Series

46. Best Classical Vocal Solo

Poèmes

Renée Fleming (Alan Gilbert & Seiji Ozawa; Orchestre National De France & Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France)

Label: Decca Records

47. Best Classical Compendium

Penderecki: Fonogrammi; Horn Concerto; Partita; The Awakening Of Jacob; Anaklasis

Antoni Wit, conductor; Aleksandra Nagórko & Andrzej Sasin, producers

Label: Naxos

48. Best Contemporary Classical Composition

Hartke, Stephen: Meanwhile – Incidental Music To Imaginary Puppet Plays

Stephen Hartke, composer (Eighth Blackbird)

Track from: Meanwhile

Label: Cedille Records

(AA)

Obituary, James DePreist

(ARIZONA, LTTW) Mr. DePreist was one of the few African American conductors to achieve international renown; and he refused to let disability derail his career. He went on conducting after polio, contracted in 1962, left both legs paralyzed and forced him to use the wheelchair. He died on Friday February 8, 2013 at 76, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is survived by his wife, Ginette DePreist.

John DePreist was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1936. He studied composition with Vincent Persichetti at the Philadelphia Conservatory while earning a bachelor’s degree at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1962, DePreist contracted poliomyelitis. However he recovered sufficiently, allowing him to enter and to ultimately claim first prize in the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition. He was then chosen by Leonard Bernstein to become assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic during the 1965–1966 season. DePreist made his highly-acclaimed European debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in 1969, then made appearances with other European orchestras in Amsterdam, Belgium, Berlin, Italy, Munich, Stockholm and Stuttgart. In 1971, Antal Doráti named him associate conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In 1976, DePreist was appointed music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, a position he held until 1983.

In 1980, DePreist was named music director of the Oregon Symphony, a position he held until 2003. During his 23 year tenure, he led the transformation of the Oregon Symphony from a small, part-time orchestra to a nationally recognized group with a number of recordings. Peter Frajola, a principal violinist who joined the orchestra in the 1980s recalled “phenomenal musical journeys” with DePreist whose influence reached far beyond the music hall into the community. He was the symphony’s ninth music director and was succeeded by Carlos Kalmar.

DePreist was also one among the few actors within the Classical Music field who counter-parting with the popular music scene. During DePreist’s stay in Japan as the permanent conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, his name and likeness were used in the Japanese manga and anime, Nodame Cantabile, in which he was the musical director of the fictional Roux-Marlet Orchestra, and hired the series protagonist Shinichi Chiaki as the orchestra’s new resident conductor. DePreist also conducted the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra to provide the music for both the anime and the live action drama. DePreist, friends with comedian Bill Cosby in high school, was commissioned in 1987 to rearrange the theme song to The Cosby Show

(AA)

Malian Musicians Back Power of Harmony Over Guns

by Angus MacSwan

(LONDON, January 28, 2013, Reuters) – As musicians from Mali took to a London stage on Saturday night, news was announced that back home French troops had captured the airport of the Islamist-controlled city of Gao.

A cheer went up – and not surprisingly.

Since Islamist militants seized control of Mali’s north following a military coup in March 2012, the country has been convulsed by conflict.

Its musical community, whose singers and players have won worldwide acclaim, has been targeted by the hardline Islamists bent on imposing sharia, or Islamic law. Concerts have been banned in northern cities, clubs closed, instruments smashed and burned, musicians harassed and forced to flee.

This weekend’s “Sahara Soul” concert at London’s Barbican, featuring Bassekou Kouyate, Sidi Toure and the desert blues band Tamkirest, showcased the country’s musical riches and called for peace. But it also indicated that there were differing visions of what any peace might entail.

“There is just one message – peace,” Sidi Toure told Reuters backstage before the concert. “If you filled this room with gold and diamonds, it would not be more important than peace.”

Toure hails from Gao on the banks of the River Niger in the Sahel region and performs Songhai folk songs with a trance-like beat. Music, he said, was ingrained in Malian life.

“When you feel bad, only music can cure you. We have many different kinds – for your first child, for weddings, for parties.”

But it has been forbidden in Gao since an official of the Ansar Din (Followers of God) militant group stated in August: “We do not want Satan’s music.”

“At the cultural centre, they made a fire in the street of all the instruments. Now all the musicians have left, for Bamako, for Niger, for Burkina Faso,” Toure said.

Malians welcomed the French military action three weeks ago as Islamist forces advanced on the capital Bamako, he said.

“Without the French intervention, that would have been the end of Mali. The French saved Mali,” he said.

WELLSPRING OF THE BLUES

Until the war pushed Mali to the forefront of U.S. and European security concerns with fears the Islamists would turn the country into a base for international attacks, Mali was probably best defined for the outside world by its music.

It is seen as the wellspring of American blues, transported to Mississippi and Memphis by slavery.

Artists such as Amadou and Mariam, the blind couple from Bamako, have sold millions of records and fill concert halls worldwide. The desert blues band Tinariwen, born out of the Touareg rebellion, won a Grammy award last year.

The annual Festival in the Desert, held near the fabled city of Timbuktu, was a pilgrimage for many foreigners, among them ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and U2’s Bono. That will not happen this year.

“Today Mali is different, because of terrorism by those who want to impose sharia; no music, no TV, no telephones, no democracy. This is no good,” Kouyate told the audience.

Kouyate, from Segou, southern Mali, plays a wooden acoustic instrument called the ngoni, a forebear of the banjo. He recalled that on the day of the military coup last March, his band had just started recording their latest album in Bamako. They heard the shooting in the streets.

His final song, “Ne me fatigue pas”, takes aim at the coup that brought down an elected government.

The coup gave new impetus to a long-running Touareg separatist rebellion in the Sahara desert of the north. That, however, was swiftly taken over by the Islamists, many said to be foreign veterans of the Afghan and Libyan battlefields.

Last week a host of Malian musicians, including Amadou and Mariam, recorded a song for peace in Bamako under the banner Voices United for Mali.

“Malian people look to us,” singer Fatoumata Diawara, the project organizer, said in Bamako. “They have lost hope in politics. But music has always brought hope in Mali.”

The lyrics refer directly to the situation in the north, saying: “Such catastrophe, such desolation … tell the North that our Mali is one nation, indivisible!”

TOUAREG STRUGGLE

The Touareg band Tamikrest took to the stage in London in desert robes to play their songs of struggle, the hypnotic guitar jams punctuated by ululations.

But leader Ousmane Ag Mossa made clear beforehand that although he was all for peace, Malian solidarity was a different matter.

The government based in the south was just as much his problem as the Islamists, he told Reuters.

“We have never seen Mali as one country. Our movement is for our independence. We are the children of suffering. There have been a lot of massacres against us. It was always like this.”

“Now they want to destroy us under the banner of fighting terrorism. The message of the music is always peace. But the musicians of the south are only finding out now what has been going on,” he said.

As a boy in the 1990s, Ousmane lost family in a period of intense warfare between the army and the Touareg. He took up the guitar as the best way to get his people’s message across, founding the band, now based in Algeria, in the city of Kaled in 2006.

“If we had been treated well and fairly, our situation would have been different. We have been treated as a bunch of nomads only good for herding livestock. We are not seen as Malians,” he said, speaking in Tamashek, the Touareg language.

“People who are interested now are only smelling the smoke of the fire we have been in for a century,” he said.

For the show’s finale, the three bands joined together on stage for a rousing jam fusing electric guitars, ngonis, scratch percussion and vocals.

A fleeting moment of unity, or a sign that Malians might one day achieve harmony?

(Reporting by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Will Waterman)